Yankees might make changes in outfield

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TAMPA, Fla. — Yankees outfielders Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner could be switching positions.

Granderson worked out in left field Thursday and the speedy Gardner switched to center.

“I think it has a chance to help us a little bit, but I’m not really sure,” manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s why I’ve said from the beginning that I’m going to toy with it. I’m not saying today that this is what it’s going to be opening day.”

Girardi plans to play the pair together in upcoming spring training games.

“See if we like it,” Girardi said. “If we do, we’ll stay with it. If we don’t, we won’t.”

Granderson also will get some playing time in center.

RED SOX: New closer Joel Hanrahan struck out two hitters in the first inning, and Boston beat Northeastern 3-0 on Thursday in the first exhibition game of spring training.

The Red Sox routed Boston College 11-1 in the doubleheader’s second game.

Hanrahan was brought in to anchor the Boston bullpen, but the Red Sox gave him the start against Northeastern. Both games were seven innings.

RANGERS: Ivan Rodriguez has re-joined the organization as a special assistant to the general manager with several different roles.

The Rangers say he will assist the team in several areas, including international scouting, player instruction on the major and minor league levels and talent evaluation. He will also represent the team in community and marketing endeavors.

PHILLIES: Philadelphia great Mike Schmidt is in spring camp for a month, and is spending quality time with Ryan Howard.

Schmidt is working with the Phillies slugger on making more contact at the plate, especially late in games.

Howard hit only .143 after the sixth inning last year. He struck out 45 times in those 84 at-bats.

Schmidt says he’s hoping Howard can put more balls in play and cut down on fouls that leave him in two-strike counts.

“Schmitty definitely can be a help to us,” manager Charlie Manuel said.

“He’s got something he brings to the table.”


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